Software Distribution Overview

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

Software distribution allows you to push almost anything to the client computers in your enterprise. It uses packages to deploy software applications, and within those packages, commands called programs that tell the client what executable file to run. A single package can contain multiple programs, each configured to run differently. Packages can also contain command lines to run files already present on the client, without actually containing additional source files. Advertisements are used to specify which collections receive the program and the package


Configuration Manager 2007 can cause any executable file to run on the client, however it is important to understand that Configuration Manager 2007 does not actually package the executables or source files. Configuration Manager 2007 is like the delivery man; it gets the software or the command to the client, but the command must be able to run on the client independently of Configuration Manager 2007. If the software or command cannot run without Configuration Manager 2007 software distribution, it will never run with software distribution.

The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 software distribution feature provides a set of tools and resources that can help manage the complex task of creating, modifying, and distributing software packages to client computers in your enterprise. Click any link in the following section for overview information about software distribution.


For information about using the Configuration Manager 2007 Software Development Kit to script and develop software for this feature, see

In This Section

  • About Packages
    Provides information about packages, the main building block of software distribution.
  • About Package Definition Files
    Provides information about package definition files, a preformed type of package that can be used to distribute software.
  • About Programs
    Provides information about programs, the individual commands used to run executable files on clients.
  • About Distribution Points
    Provides information about distribution points, the primary point of delivery for software distribution packages.
  • About Advertisements
    Provides information about advertisements, the means for selecting which collections the packages and programs will be sent to, as well as the schedule on which they will be sent.
  • About Binary Differential Replication
    Provides information about binary delta replication, used to pass specific changes in package and programs to distribution points with a minimum of extra network traffic.
  • About Package Access Accounts
    Provides information about package access accounts, for increased control over access to the packages you place on distribution points.

See Also


Prerequisites for Software Distribution

Other Resources

Planning Software Distribution
Configuring Software Distribution
Tasks for Software Distribution

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
To contact the documentation team, email